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Sept. 23, 2021

Neuroergonomics Conference 2021 Recap | #NEC21 | Bonus Episode

Pre-Recorded in September, 2021, hosted by Nick Roome.

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| Pre-Recorded in September, 2021, hosted by Nick Roome.

| Join us as we recap #NEC21


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Welcome to human factors yeah your weekly podcast for human factors psychology and design. Hey everyone welcome to a special conference coverage episode of human factors cast we recorded this over several different segments right now it's September 22 as I'm wrapping all this up I'm your host Nick Rome and on this episode we're recapping neuro economics conference 2021 we'll hear from some of the folks in our lab about what they thought of the event and will end with an interview with Lewis 211 of the co chairs of the event but first I want to give my general impressions this is 1 of my new favorite conferences I'm. I mean all the people involved and the venue itself was neat I mean you'll hear more about that a little bit later from others. But I just wanted to talk about one of my favorite keynotes which. Arses knows of no surprise to folks who listen to the show frequently. It was on virtual reality it was from Mel Slater you talk about body representation in BR so so he specifically mentioned some you know these allusions that. You know are used right so things like embodied self when you are. For lack of a better term transported into the body of some other thing I think in one of the examples you use like a lobster but the idea here is that if you do that how much empathy can you get about embodying another being right you can apply this to things like racial. And and gender discrimination right if you embody somebody else of. Some other gender or race ethnicity then you you might have more empathy for them right or at least that's the assumption he also brought up you know other illusions like the rubber hand illusion that's where you put your hand on one side of the mirror and they kind of match the the stimulus across your hand on the rubber hand and then they go to. I guess apply a negative stimulus like a hammer coming down on the rubber hand and you will react to that because you feel like that is your hand in a virtual environment. Ultimately he talked about some really cool research like coaching yourself through a simulation as if you were another person basically having a conversation with yourself kind of like I'm doing now not not dissimilar to this only more therapeutic you know like if I'm if I'm talking to myself I'd say so Nick what are you worried about this bonus episode well I'm worried that people might not want to. Listen to me ramble on don't worry we're getting 2 others later I do want to get to one of the key take aways from that talk though. And I think for me you know is is V. R. can be an effective tool especially for establishing empathy but in some cases it might actually make biases worse and might not actually help with empathy and it's one of those it depends kind of situations so take it with a grain of salt my main take away from this conference though was that it was super in line with what we do here what we talk about on the show and so I'm gonna make every effort on my end to attend this thing whenever they put it on especially since they put a huge emphasis at least on the application of some US academic research. That they are showing to industry and that's huge right well enough of my rambling let's hear from some of the lab members about what they thought of the conference this year. Hi hunter and I'm one of the members of the human factors constant media lab and last week I was able to attend the near economics conference online it was actually quite interesting set up as they were using the system code gather which corrects an online hang out space so we were able to move between different rooms to go to different talks that you could see like people standing in front of the post is on the screen you can have the video chat some with them I reckon was a great white have conference set up and looking forward to seeing how other events use that I was actually able to also get to a couple of the talks one was about using sort of biosynthesis in vehicles to protect driver behaviors and potentially predict health outcomes some from the diagnose the disease conditions and the other one was about to the service of the ethics in Hey I am your technologies so I'll go into both of them for a brief IV and my friends. The first oak that I attended was titled digital biomarkers from senses in counts and devices this is presented by Matthew resigned from the university of Nebraska so the whole concept of this presentation was base price around your company your doctor so essentially being able to find an area predicts and diagnose various conditions and diseases based on your driving behaviors and I thought this was great because driving is probably one of the activities a lot of us do the most other than sleeping in that aiding and kind of work and we go out with our friends we gone right treats and drops the shops you drive to work at that there is so much time we spend driving and so much untapped daughter in what we're doing that can link back to various conditions that much some earlier time aside he went on and went on to talk about how they've been doing stuff to. Basi alia diagnoses things like L. sign is disease and diabetes is based on a reddit can predictable driving behaviors and then talking about I guess some of the different technologies and systems set senses that I've been using to do that by thin serving a clinical trial testing vitamins using driving simulators you know all these different metrics that measuring such as steering wheel position xcelerated and break time to collisions a spade over variations in what you're doing with him crossing over lanes invest only if it was really a a meeting maybe talk and I've got a review a lot of it myself but I was just extremely impressed at the level of detail that Messi went into into talking about the differences between results they get from simulators and the results that I get from obviously not black box type devices dashboard cameras and other sensors onboard vehicles from real world situations so this is something that I'm definitely going to look into it a little bit further myself and that was the first hope that I got to attend the second talk like attendance at the conference was ethics of AI from your technologies now that can go down very steep doc rabbit holes and quite a few good questions are brought up as a panel discussion sorry there was quite a good set of viewpoints but I think it's a general consensus came back to a few key points so I guess in terms of one of the biggest challenges is that technology is always been so excited something desirable fascinating sexy and devices the comments that don't have a house in the middle I'm not seen is that desirable because often doesn't Hey have I all right then well what is the condition is gonna be very smart so can be very useful but then. All of the devices that are coming out with a high built into them don't really let you know about a lot of the issues that they have around the various biases in algorithms and security issues yeah where if my information is being stored what's being done with it and what algorithms your daughter might be helping to create that that you know may I have some other unintended consequences of one of the biggest challenging areas I I particularly near technologies is obviously the health domain the health care system yeah I mean people know very fit bits with bands some very senses for all sorts of things and intelligent diabetes monitors me what are the implications of these devices and the data that's been stored on her insurance companies going to get a hold of this and start to rise the premiums because I see okay you haven't actually done your 10000 steps for the day for example so that there's a lot of things that. Come out of this also this doesn't seem to be any clear agreements consensus on how technologies are to be used in a security context initial security so there's a lot of the buy some around that privacy without brain Dada you ask for see it what what is the privacy of affluence and how we going to tackle that and the even the reliability of some of these technologies and what happens when they go wrong can these algorithms file in and then stop to work against us so the real big thing that came out of this is that we really need more embedded ethics approach to technology development as early as as possible in the development process we need to reflect human values in the development process and basically put put ethics at the core of this is science ethics by design essentially because we want technology to carry the values that we cherish that we have technology that works for us not against us and really just making people aware that ethics is part of all professions ethics is in every industry yeah everything we create and we really should be striving to do science for the common good and address social expectations and needs of people especially in different cultures because different cultures have different needs and different values so it's not just a one size fits all approach so yeah this dead discussion really brought up a lot of thinking points and potentially even something that we can really dive deep into for a whole whole upside down to look at but yeah that the intended conference was great so appreciate that being able to attend as part of being them yeah one of the media lab members for the human factors cost and I look forward to more collaborations like this and just really spreading the word about some human factors across all industries the hope you'll have a good day and remember it depends hi. Hey this is Rachel from the lab here to talk about the conference that I attended I wanted to highlight a little bit about the platform we were using and it was super super cool because you got to customize your own person that was walking around and exploring and you were only able to hear and see other people if you were at nearby us so it kind of replicated a real conference in that way I really can't wait until the next one. Hi all this is Katie from the HSE lab I had such a great time at the NEC conference from start to finish I love to sing gather for the conference friends and thought the organizers did a great job of setting up the rooms for the panels and poster sessions it was so much fun getting to create my avatar enjoying everyone else for the group photo at the end of the conference all of the panels and presentations I attended were excellent I would like to give a special shout out to the women in your ergonomics panel into the future of working now it was wonderful to be able to learn from these amazing women about how they have handled the challenges that women face when it comes to succeeding in the mirror economic space from not being taken seriously to finding a good work life balance to hear from such impressive women that they too have had to overcome such hurdles as imposter syndrome was so inspiring and it is a great feeling to know that you are not alone in these sorts of things. The future of working out was very interesting as well and highly topical as more companies consider what their workplaces will look like post pandemic it was fascinating to learn how the brain responds to getting to have breaks throughout the day and to see the differences in brain activity between no breaks and breaks after seeing that studies about the future of work have placed a huge emphasis on employee well being as the key to greater productivity especially in a hybrid work environment I'm excited to see where work will go. All right now let's get to my interview with Lewis I do want to just take a quick little note here that there were some audio quality issues during this part of the program on my end Lewis's audio is fine so apologies for that but fortunately Lewis is doing most of the talking in this interview so I really hope you all enjoy my conversation with Louis. And I'm thrilled to be joined today by little S. Chu one by one the cultures of the neuro economics conference and we were just out and had a ton of fun at Lewis how are you I'm doing great Nick how yes aha how you. I'm great Lewis I'm I'm still coming down from the high that was nearer economics conference you and your team did a phenomenal job over there thanks. The absolute bang up job I I I am I am 100 percent sincere in that. This was awesome cheers mate. Yes you and your team. You want to go over your full list of your team I'm I wanna make sure they all get credit for a run with it done well the minute of being of space to give everyone but first of all I'd almost certainly must mention that I wasn't alone in this and we had equal responsibilities Francisco ambling from Q. Munich and myself with regards to organizing this but of course we also had a lot of support from all program Chas if a visa from George Mason University now what Q. Berlin on Marie Brauer from you know that balance and also during committee has some ideas and I'm Freddie. Yeah like I said you guys did an absolute phenomenal absolutely phenomenal job with this virtual event so we're here we're here to cover the event we did a little preview episode but I want to talk to you I wanna talk to one of the co chairs of this event what is neuro economics conference for the for the folks who might be listening for the first time. So the neurotoxic conference was essentially founded in 2016 by AM Fred to Haiti he was just awarded a very special chair by the Aqsa research fund which is quite a prestigious one and this part of this concept it was really to also create a community that tries to look into the at the date that the new risks that A. I. A. digitalization and automation might be introducing it into the work space of and together with from Hassan I yes D. essentially so this community and in 2018 so 2 years later we had in Philadelphia once again we went right we think the community is about 150 let's add an extra 50 and we almost hit 300 so you know it's it's registration rates have been going up what's we had front row 44 this year. But well the quality of foods been going down with this I mean we didn't bother offering food or catering this year was a digital event. Well I don't blame yeah I do want to back up and say you know like that the topics at near or economics conference are are actually surprisingly a lot of you know some of the stories that we talk about on the show so it was kind of a a real nice fit for us to be there and listen to a lot of these. Fox and see all the presentations going on so it's a really good fit for us as actors cast you can win over what the venues like in the past what what was the vibe generally at those events you see I mean you mentioned a lot of people are showing up. Is it like other conferences that you've been to worsen can I have a unique flair to it. Well it's very unique we're free because the fact that all research. Is intended to be. Applied and I say this with a lot of caution because we've been receiving as well a bit of blowback from from the academic community so you usually have this discussion of well what do you do basic research or do you do applied research right the communities is chosen to gather round your record on your economics the new economics conference tend to not subscribe to this way of thinking about things and as a result it's it's it can. It's it's a fairly informal setting as you might find in any case and in many friendly academic conferences but you rarely hear peoples saying things at least not out loud that. Well that problem and I don't know the mining industry that doesn't sound relevant at all that's very polite right rather they might take pause and think about well what does this mean we're free cost what we actually know about the brain or brain mechanism so that's that's been the cultural or that's that's generally been been field at these conferences I think open mindedness is inherent to under the rug on X. conference and that that regards you take pause to think beforehand before dismissing aside being a to apply problem. If it's too basic and you know went into wonky if if if you will yep. Yeah I think it's I thought it was a great mix of the applied and kind of academics in this one space right right. It was it was it was cool to see because the whole time I was there like that's cool how can I use that in like you know I do you X. works how can how can I use that you act. Cool things I can take back well I I do want to get into what the venue was like this year and what the what the vibe was what the virtual event itself was in the venue can you just talk a little bit about what it was. So we make use of primarily of cattle town so that's why you covered this in your previous didn't you so it's a bit like a MM old highly pixelated said just giving you that a static vibes from the eighties. Which well I don't know about you I mean you look really young makes it fits exactly it might it might each group you know so. Yep so so we held entirely in the other town and we basically wants to go as far away as possible from a web page with Xilinx that was basically what we did not want to do so although we did make use of external telescope on a teleconference all video conferencing tools like zoom for example we try to embed all of this with India Catatan space and of course if anyone's interested we intend to make everything public like after this month so it's free for everyone to visit and yeah we we have poster boards which you can interact with to pull up the PDF we had tiny TV surgically watching in small rooms so. That was connected to the feel of it yep. Yeah it was really cool I am you're right I it was very MMO like the 8 bit style and I felt like I was like this is like a mix of my childhood and my current. Make her professional life has this nice healthy. I fell home in a way. Now to give. Now I gotta ask you answer this did you what was the general feedback about like navigating throughout the virtual spacing out for like younger generations it might have been. Easier I know you know the chat was going with the zoom links a lot of the time for some of the events that were going on did you hear any problems about medication issues. Yes but understandably so. So you know I'm I'm an academic so I like to plan you know you yes ahead if I can kind of like what a research program needs to look like in 10 years 20 years right but I have to say planning for this conference. It was stressful it was it was it was a true test of my abilities as S. S. ase off my training psychology. So it was very difficult for me as you've mentioned Nick right. That there were very very different use expectations across the different age groups right so I think the younger crowd Gossett immediately even though it was very rational in terms of its its its visualization but you didn't have. The more stylish colleagues who. What it would it might be a bit too much you know they had to re learn completely new software you know so what we had to do was basically to half to manage these expectations and I was really well supported by an excellent support team so we had for example one in charge who is solely responsible for supplying emergency zoom links if possible. And another student helper who was on site so to speak as a a tiny office ha very visible with a bright yellow top hat I'm walking around and asking people if they needed directions in the digital venue and handing out zoom links as well if that was the only possible way for them to get to the next lecture next talk about S. S. as much as possible we try to get people invested in it and the value without com without compelling them or forcing them to use it yeah yeah I mean and I think that was a real challenge. Yeah I mean you and your team had the the virtual venue like weeks before the event so people could familiarize themselves with it so yeah I I mean I thought the venue was a success you know despite some of the we are technical issues with the links but overall just. Great venue I do wanna talk briefly about what gonna jump in right there and he is out there yeah so actually it's funny you should mention that because we had a link and we allow public access to the venue. But what visitors might not have known was that we actually had 2 venues one that we allow people to visit free which was a copy of what we were really working on behind the scenes and when people were noticing we flipped it just like in inception there you go yes so but we too many insider references within all backed back room slack channel to the matrix inception all nerdy films and and that kept the team in an extremely desperate spot but anyway yeah he was saying sorry I didn't yeah well and some of that even spilled over into the little Easter egg hunt you guys had to that was fun right. That's true I have to congratulate you need forth coming in second no you stayed home thank you yeah that was a kind of fun to do I I actually logged in on us I guess it was Sunday for me and I was like I'll check it out right it was late afternoon for me and my family were about to go out. Check it out in this I was getting really close to the south leave. I get it 10 minutes after the first person submitted there is. Well your uniforms and first almost yeah I was a little. I do I do wanna talk about some of the themes from the conference just high level there are a lot of great talks a lot of great speakers a lot of great posters and and plenary talks fireside chats we just I just wanna get your take on what some of the themes where. Right so we were very sensitive to what's been going on for the last year the pandemic and how it works changing in the sense it's actually brought focus to what we're trying to achieve here which is wiles human factors and ergonomics have been historically and traditionally focus on physical work and the amount of stress that might be placing on the body right I think the last year has has made it absolutely clear that I'm considering stresses and strain on the human mind on all social interactions must be considered if we're going to take a user centric perspective on work so one of the key theme was really about what the future of work might hold and for that we were very fortunate to get Shamsi egg ball from Microsoft research to give a industry keynote on that topic but of course we also have excellent academic speakers for keynotes like a metal sleeve so who focused on efforts Hans and and and when would be ever assume such virtual bodies a cell phone definitely the vehicle my notebook takes an absolute fennel. Spoke about how you know it's it's it's okay to play video games you know it it could help you be more resilient mentally and Matthew rich so who spoke about how the continuous measurement of physiological activity could help us identify potential diseases dysfunctions such as Parkinson's Alzheimer's or from our everyday lives and I really like this this time that's emerging situational impairments so you might think you're doing perfectly okay and that you're either normal or better than the rest but situations can emerge which makes you empat right so I think that really gave a sense to what we're trying to achieve which was studying the human nervous system is really important to to understand impairments to allow us to be a more tolerant of of of individual differences across society so now. This leads into the mix theme with a the next topic which which was really important to Francisco myself we really want to DO that the conference to a highlight of diversity and to create an awareness for accessibility. Yeah I think I think those things definitely carried over anything the the goals were apparently from my perspective as as an attendee. Are you taking anything like what are some key takeaways that you're taking away from this conference whether it's. You know now you know how to operate in gather town or any of the talks or keynotes or and what something that you're taken back home and you're you're going to implement your own research. Well it's it's. It's certainly been a reminder once again that this boundary between basic and applied research and all academia versus industry. That's a very bloodline if this even a line at all right so if we look at attendance we were really fortunate have attracted industry members to visit us but at a ratio of one to 4 so for everyone representative from industry we get for academics and at least for us that was a very healthy mix so one key takeaway or rather what I really hope to impress in my own team members soul my call my academic colleagues is that although it's very good and proper to be always visiting and revisiting Ringo and. It in academic research now and again it's it's it's really important to reach out as well to people on the front lines of to make your research really matter. 2 to one cent in the real world who are actually funding what we do so so that's definitely created an awareness of that once again in terms of research water quality of submitted research has just been remarkable. So I I I I find it very hard because a single submission. That that that I would really like to highlight especially from the academic community so I'm just going to shift focus to one new event that we introduced this year that would that turn out to be really popular and that's the fireside chats so when I first suggested it I did receive a little bit of push back when I said Hey why don't we have this really informal so events like a fireside chat you know which one of your more famous precedence actually popularized many many years back right and but but now it was kind of like more of an informal conversation between a highly established in the senior scientists right and someone from industry to just have a conversation to set an example for a conversation right so we were really fortunate to half of reached out and convince some colleagues from from the food industry from aviation from leadership selection and training of. From new media from the BBC and also from the the automated vehicle all of just 6 companies always with the cap yet that anything that you say of. Does not represent the a day to day business operations and decisions of the company right yeah of course. Yeah yeah yeah at at exactly and we're so you know we're we're so privileged that that that they all agreed to do so because they are also researchers active researchers within their own companies and the sort of value in reaching out to a to academia but I think it really needs to go both ways so I I hope that these fireside chats service attempt leaking of conversations welcome to 6 could take place the team members of my community and industry and vice versa. Yeah can I just say as somebody in the industry I really appreciate that because I feel like a lot of times I go to conferences and I go. Okay this is a lot of like you know research what's the take away from me and when you have sort of an emphasis on creating those relationships between academia and industry and providing those takeaways for you know the folks who are actually using this in real world settings I think that is just incredibly important and like and I have talked about it on the show 1000000 times many of our listeners to tell you we're we're very passionate about that so and and I think that's part of one of the reasons why I'm so jazzed about this conference because I felt it I felt it as a as a conference going to 10 be. Right absolutely came out I do too jump into what the plans are for for next time is it next year is it 2 years from now. Right so the next year going for conference we taking place in summer 2022 and we've really fortunate to have Martin Dixon. From Cooney to be organizing it and he's a world leading expert on on current stimulation so both a transcranial current stimulation and he'll be leading the team next year and organizing it so. Well we're looking forward to seeing you in and then your next year. What to plug one thing that's the one thing I'll be plugging a Monero gummies conference the fourth new economic conference in in NYC next. Excellent yeah we're we're gonna try our hardest to make it over there and because again it was just a fantastic amount and hopefully hopefully you know by that time cove it'll completely blow over it can be in person no more gather town meetings we can actually do some networking in person I have some great conversation. Right anything else that you want to talk about their work and I'm X. conference before we wrap it up here. Well we've got a community so we've got a public server the confined and I'm sure that you supplied links and yeah it on our website so we have a public discord server and follow us on Twitter we will do our best to amplify to look at we do and your research as well or your your research interests. All operational concerns yeah so so just ping us and we hope just go to community. That's it for today everyone let us know what you think of our coverage you can always hang out with us on our slack or discord to get to us on any of our social channels you visit our official website sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on all the latest Yuma factors news you like what you hear you will support the show leave us a 5 star review that's free for you to do tell your friends about us or consider supporting us on Patreon as always links to our social is on our website in the description this episode special thank you to Matteo Rachel Katie and Lewis for their contributions and for being on the show today we provided a few links in the description of this episode find out more information about the conference as for me I've been your host Nick rom you can find me across social media at Nick _ Rome thanks again for tuning into him factors cast until next time it depends. Human factors cast brings you the best in human factors news interviews conference coverage and overall fun conversations into each and every episode we produce but we can't do it without you. The human factors cast network is 100 percent listener supported all the funds are going to running the show come from our listeners our patrons are our priority and we want to ensure we're giving back to you for supporting us pledges start at just $1 per month and include rewards like access to our weekly Q. and a is with the hosts personalized professional reviews and human factors minute patrie on only weekly podcast where the host breakdown unique 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Lewis ChuangProfile Photo

Lewis Chuang

Akademischer Rat; Lecturer

Lewis Chuang is a tenured Akademischer Rat (Lecturer equivalent) of the Institute for Informatics at Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität Munich. He holds a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience and employs task analyses, physiological monitoring, psychophysics, and applied computational modeling to understand how we interact with digital technologies and automation. He has received funding at the European, national, and state level, across domains such as wearable computing, augmented/virtual reality, teleoperations, and vehicle handling.

He advocates for the importance of human factors in engineering. He co-initiated the Fachgruppe Ingenieurpsychologie of the German Society for Psychology and co-founded topical workshops (e.g., “Eye Tracking in Multimedia”), which has fostered interactions between academia and industry.

He is also an associate editor for Scientific Reports, the International Journal for Human-Computer Studies, and Frontiers in Neuroergonomics.